Prompt: Earth


Please don’t think we were a bunch of animals rutting recklessly in outer space. Honestly, we were not.

The fact that Sara did not know who the father of her child was indicated a certain carelessness, but during those last months before we reached Beta Omega we were, I think partially insane. All of us. How would you feel, careening to a new planet you only hoped would be habitable, never to see your loved ones or your home, or a forest, flower, bird, or bacon ever, ever again? And you had the responsibility of ethically, intelligently, peacefully and safely populating a new world?

I could have been more careful, too. After all, my child would need to have a different father from his or her future partner, if they wanted to ensure they produced healthy children. There were eight of us, enough for a safe pool of DNA to mix and match, if we were careful.

As first medical officer, Rosa was tasked to oversee the health of all the unborn children. She spent weeks deconstructing the Sparwood project data, and various other biological  studies, and in the end came up with a startlingly simple solution.

“We will be monogamous,” she said at the meeting.

“Interesting,” said Haven. I could see the wheels turning in Haven’s mind, as she tried to catch Will’s eye, but he was leaning back in his chair motionless, as if he was dozing.

“Bloody hell,” said Ed.

“Of course,” said John. “Human culture is traditionally monogamous.”

“It’s an artificial construct,” said Sara. “A result of the patriarchy.” She tapped on her laptop. John frowned at her. I guessed that he was not one of the potential fathers of the child in her belly. Which got me to wondering, because the only one of the male crew I hadn’t, um, done the dirty with was Ed, whose character I found strangely obnoxious and off-putting, and was pretty sure I wouldn’t even be able to hate F him. But Sara could? I thought I knew her better than that.

“I believe monogamy evolved to stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases,” I said. I knew I was right. I had read Bauch-McElreath before sleeping last night, not from any scientific curiosity, but because I’d had a bout of insomnia lately.

“We start now,” Rosa said, closing the moleskin notebook in front of her. “When Sara’s child is born, we’ll do all the usual tests to determine paternity.”

“Haven, will you marry me?” Ed said, and everyone laughed.

Chris said, “I don’t actually see the need, Rosa. I think we have enough Solos to prevent any unwanted births.”

“It’s not 100% effective,” Rosa said. “We don’t take chances.”

“No,” said Chris.

And that, my friends, is why I seduced Christopher that very night.


  • Image: 2001, A Space Odyssey

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